He hissed lightly as she pressed the rag to his wounds, but he was relaxed, and not tense. This was her after all, and how many nights had he dreamed of this exact situation, where they were alone and she was tenderly caring for his hurts.
"Maybe I’ve died again and this time went to heaven," he said, grinning softly at her. He leaned back his head against the back of the couch, breathing through his teeth as she treated his wounds.
"Ah… Rangiku. I’ve dreamt of this moment for so long," he said with a laugh. "Just you, and me, and a-" he hissed loudly as the cloth moved over his largest wound - the one Aizen had left him with. "A sterile cloth, ya know?" he grinned, almost bearing his teeth against the pain.
"Thank you," he breathed. "I know… I probably won’t be able to stay here for long… but… I had to see you… I promised you I’d always come back, so I … I had to come back, ya know?" he said, opening one eye to peer at her. "I … "
"I failed you Rangiku. I failed everyone," he said, letting his eye close again. "My whole life was building up to that one moment and in the end… even everything I’d worked for, it wasn’t enough. I’m sorry I couldn’t avenge you, Rangiku… .I’m sorry."
As she finished the stained wash cloth dropped into the bowl of warm water she had used in cleaning his injuries. She sat silently for a moment, letting his words repeat over and over again – everything, his rise from hell, his reason for returning, and his apologies for his failure. Slowly, she rose from her seated position, fingers gently running down his cheek before cupping his chin. He was alive, he was here, he had returned – all he could do was apologize. He had never apologized before – not like this – he’d offer her a ‘sorry Ran-chan’ and a smile. Never would be beat himself up over it – not like this.
Carefully, her muted blue hues scanned his features before she offered him a kind smile. “I’d rather you be alive and a failure, than dead and a hero.” There was so much else she wished to say, wished to express to him. While he went about apologizing and blaming himself – she had blamed herself for his death. It pained her to think that she had driven him to his fate. He had never expressed his reasoning for doing what he did, she never understood – it was only after the war did small particles of information begin to leak out. Still, the memory that Gin had was far sharper than the hazy, repressed memory she had.
“—Gin, you’ve done so much more than you know.” She swallowed hard, fearing if she spoke the truth it would only pain him. A revenge plot that had driven him to his death for a girl who couldn’t even remember the event – that would be icing on the cake. Sitting slowly beside him, her hand took his, elated that she was able to hold him once again. “—Gin, I don’t remember anything before meeting you. When I think back, I can hear muffled voices; I feel a sudden and sharp pain and then weakness. The first thing I can remember seeing is your face staring down at me. And your words. What is it that I don’t know Gin?”
There was a sudden expression of fear, disappointment, worry that caused her brow to crease, her lips to turn downwards in a frown. Her hold on his hand tightened slightly as she inched closer to his form. “I’m sorry Gin, I’m so sorry…”